New York, NY
Never one to keep his opinions on his former team to himself, New York Jets icon Joe Namath didn't hesitate to speak out on the what he considers the completely illogical hiring of former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano as the Jets new offensive coordinator.
On his weekly spot on "The Michael Kay Show" on 1050 ESPN New York, Namath pointed out Sparano's lack of experience calling plays.
"I'm stumped. I am stumped," Namath said. "I've watched Tony work down here with the Dolphins and I thought he carried himself very well through all the adversity and all, but other than having called some plays with the Dallas Cowboys , I don't know what his credentials are for an offensive coordinator."
Namath called it favoritism between fellow Bill Parcells protoges Sparano and Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
"This is the football fraternity, the coaching fraternity, the GMs, with their friends and all," Namath said. "That's basically what I think about Tony getting that job. But credentials as an offensive coordinator? I don't see it. I hope he's a great one, but I don't see it."
Sparano was fired after nearly four seasons as Dolphins skipper in which he went 29-31, including a one-and-done playoff appearance in his first season in 2008. According to ESPN, he called some plays for the Cowboys in 2006 when the Cowboys finished fourth in scoring and fifth in total offense.
Though he does have recent experience as offensive line coach and tight ends coach, the last time Sparano was offensive coordinator was at Boston University from 1989-1993.
Sparano replaced Brian Schottenheimer, who Namath felt became the scapegoat for the Jets' disappointing 8-8 finish. Schottenheimer is thought to be the frontrunner for the coordinator job at Alabama, Namath's alma mater.
"He's not a bad offensive coordinator by any stretch," Namath said. "Did anyone comment on the failure of (defensive coordinator) Mike Pettine after having his defense really go backward this year as opposed to the last two years?"
New York had several chance late in the season to qualify for the playoffs, but ended on a three-game skid and out for the first time in Rex Ryan's three-year reign as head coach.
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